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Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:47 am

"Aer Lingus has revealed further details of its plan to launch domestic UK services from London Heathrow airport to Edinburgh in order to break British Airways' monopoly on the route.

Some 14 Heathrow slots are being relinquished by International Airlines Group, BA's parent company, as a pre-condition for its takeover of BMI. Seven of the slots have been ringfenced for Edinburgh or Aberdeen.

So far, Virgin is the only other bidder for the Edinburgh slots, though Aer Lingus remains confident that it can secure the rights to the route.

The Irish flag carrier says if it is successful then the route - its first on the UK mainland - will launch for the summer 2013 season. It plans to deploy a 174-seat Airbus A320 to link the two capital cities."

Source: www.flightglobal.com/pro (this is a subscription service but it's where I got it from)

Edited to add another link (although it has less detail): http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articl...n+soon+on+uk+domestic+service.html
---

Not a particularly surprising move, but nevertheless interesting.

[Edited 2012-11-08 03:09:46]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
anstar
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:06 am

So they want to use 6 of the 7 ring fenced slots for EDI. Presumably they have not bid for Aberdeen?

Can't see VS being happy if they get 1 slot for ABZ but EI get 6 got EDI....

Though I can see the authorities thinking more airlines is more competition and doing say 4 EDI for EI and 3 ABZ for VS rather than giving them all to VS or 6 to EI.

[Edited 2012-11-08 03:09:22]
 
AIR MALTA
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:37 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 1):
Though I can see the authorities thinking more airlines is more competition and doing say 4 EDI for EI and 3 ABZ for VS rather than giving them all to VS or 6 to EI.

I don't think that will be the case... It won't be economical for one airline to get 3 slots and the other to get the other 4. I think that the winner will have all slots. Don't forget that there are 5 other slots that can be used for flights to ABZ and EDI along CAI, MOW, NCe, etc...

At the end, I think we will see 12 lots going to the winner to operate ABZ and EDI.

EI might have a little bit more advantage over VS as they can increase routes to the UK by using their own slots, something VS can not do.
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anstar
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:42 am

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 2):
I don't think that will be the case... It won't be economical for one airline to get 3 slots and the other to get the other 4. I think that the winner will have all slots.

I totally agree that all the domestic slots for ABZ/EDI should go to the one carrier... but I was just thinking the EU competition people probably think they are doing a service by awarding it to more airlines!

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 2):
EI might have a little bit more advantage over VS as they can increase routes to the UK by using their own slots, something VS can not do.

Well VS would make more sense especially if EI haven't bid for Aberdeen. As VS would offer ABZ, EDI and MAN flights from LHR so providing more of a domestic network than EI with just EDI. Also EI have tried having a hub in London recently and that didn't exactly work out well.
 
Clydenairways
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:48 am

I really don't think this is a good move from EI's point of view.
Their brand is only associated with Ireland and is not established for anything outside this market.
The previous attempt at setting up a base in LGW suffered from the same problem and was a disaster.
 
offloaded
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:54 am

Quoting clydenairways (Reply 4):
The previous attempt at setting up a base in LGW suffered from the same problem and was a disaster.

Their fare structure didn't seem too well thought out. The FAO route had fares from €12 which were not that hard to find, and their top fare was €299, when EZY were €500+

I had a lot of clients who used the service (FAO LGW) and loved it. The product was worth way more than they were charging for it.
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Clydenairways
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:03 pm

Quoting offloaded (Reply 5):

Their fare structure didn't seem too well thought out. The FAO route had fares from €12 which were not that hard to find, and their top fare was €299, when EZY were €500+

I had a lot of clients who used the service (FAO LGW) and loved it. The product was worth way more than they were charging for it.

I'm not disputing that, i'm just saying that their brand in the UK is primarily known in the context of traveling to Ireland.
 
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Jambost
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:21 pm

A crazy thought of mine is that maybe EI want to be recognised to be Scottish as well as Irish approaching the Scottish Independence move. If EI re brand as a "Celtic airline" they could expand and soar in Scotland if they become Independent.

It is a crazy thought and that is all!
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antonovman
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:38 pm

I think Aer Lingus will start it up and run the flights for a year or so and then dump them claiming they cant make money from them.
I think most people would still chose BA rather than EI.
as far as virgin goes, i will believe it when i see it.
 
tonystan
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:49 pm

Quoting antonovman (Reply 8):
I think most people would still chose BA rather than EI.

Its all down to price at the end of the day and lets face it, EI offer a very competitive product. Throw their agreements with AC, UA and EY into the equation and you could soon find yourself with plenty of feed on the route too.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
SKAirbus
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:57 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 9):
Its all down to price at the end of the day and lets face it, EI offer a very competitive product. Throw their agreements with AC, UA and EY into the equation and you could soon find yourself with plenty of feed on the route too.

This route is very business heavy and EI's LCC service may put a lot of business passengers off. BA offers a) connections, b) good incentives with the Exec Club and c) an inclusive service, with breakfast etc for early fliers.
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:06 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 10):
This route is very business heavy

Are you suggesting EZY doesn't carry many businesspeople - needless to say, primarily self-employed or from SMEs - on its up to 13x daily flights (summed) from STN, LTN, and LGW? Undoubtedly a decent % of its passengers on LON-EDI are travelling for business reasons. It's reasonable to assume a number would also fly EI, probably not the corporate types from major firms but other businesspeople.

[Edited 2012-11-08 05:11:53]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
SKAirbus
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:20 am

Quoting [email protected] (Reply 11):
Are you suggesting EZY doesn't carry many businesspeople - needless to say, primarily self-employed or from SMEs - on its up to 13x daily flights (summed) from STN, LTN, and LGW? Undoubtedly a decent % of its passengers on LON-EDI are travelling for business reasons. It's reasonable to assume a number would also fly EI, probably not the corporate types from major firms but other businesspeople.

Of course. There is an undoubted LCC market but from Heathrow I don't think there is. Also, EI is point to point and will have very few connecting passengers on its flights. This is a disadvantage. At least VS can fill up its aircraft with passengers from its lh ops.
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shamrock321
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:49 am

EI currently has a number of agreements with various different airlines operating long haul services at Heathrow, to say they won't have long haul feed is wrong! In fact EI could probably pull more connecting passengers from more long haul flights at Heathrow than VS can!

EI has also got close with a number of star carriers recently, I don't think EI will do is without a proper agreement with more star carriers who are lacking connections via LHR since BD went.
 
Clydenairways
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:45 am

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 13):
EI currently has a number of agreements with various different airlines operating long haul services at Heathrow, to say they won't have long haul feed is wrong! In fact EI could probably pull more connecting passengers from more long haul flights at Heathrow than VS can!

EI has also got close with a number of star carriers recently, I don't think EI will do is without a proper agreement with more star carriers who are lacking connections via LHR since BD went.

While it maybe true that EI could fill a gap in the STAR feed in LHR, but Aerlingus won't get enough yield from this traffic alone. They need to attract a significant amount of the point to point higher yield business to be in with a chance to make it work. They will be up against some very well established UK brands for this business.
 
SKAirbus
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:35 pm

I guess a solution for EI would be to create a UK domestic subsiduary and create a brand based on this. Maybe market it as a Scottish Airline. Aer Alba maybe? Sounds a bit out there but may provide the basis for better brand recognition.
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Eagleboy
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:42 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 12):
There is an undoubted LCC market but from Heathrow I don't think there is. Also, EI is point to point and will have very few connecting passengers on its flights.

In recent financial results EI have indicated that 21% of their revenue is from interline agreements....so point to point does not describe them very well.

I do see that any EDI-LHR could be seen as point to point as it does not tap into their main base of DUB. However EI have interline agreements with VS,KL and perhaps could extend their existing codeshare agreements (with BA, UA and/or EY) onto the EDI-LHR service?
 
eicvd
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:18 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 2):
EI might have a little bit more advantage over VS as they can increase routes to the UK by using their own slots, something VS can not do.

If anything, EI will use the ABZ & EDI slots to increase their Irish flights when the 6 months or year(?) to operate those flights is up, there is not a chance EI would operate additional Scottish flights with their own slots.
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Clydenairways
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Quoting eicvd (Reply 17):

If anything, EI will use the ABZ & EDI slots to increase their Irish flights when the 6 months or year(?) to operate those flights is up, there is not a chance EI would operate additional Scottish flights with their own slots.

Would it be as easy as that? Surely there must be a clause in the slot allocation to prevent that.
If that was the case, somebody could run the route with minimal cost with something like a Jetstream just to get the slots and then convert them to long haul services. It can't be that simple.
 
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vhtje
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 16):
In recent financial results EI have indicated that 21% of their revenue is from interline agreements....

Would EI be carrying BA traffic?

I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but could this move be being orchestrated by BA in order to keep VS out of the domestic market?
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aamd11
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:08 pm

Quoting eicvd (Reply 17):
If anything, EI will use the ABZ & EDI slots to increase their Irish flights when the 6 months or year(?) to operate those flights is up, there is not a chance EI would operate additional Scottish flights with their own slots.

Isn't it a three year period in which the slots must only be used for the allocated markets?
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:18 pm

Folks,

To dispel a few myths - EI is not an LCC in the traditional sense.

They do carry connecting traffic, and interline with a large number of carriers, particularly at LHR.

EI do carry business passengers, do have an FFP (even though its crap) and do have business lounges and flexible tickets.
 
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GCT64
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:13 pm

From the perspective of a weekly LON-EDI business commuter (flights paid by the company):

a) I used BMI a lot on LHR-EDI-LHR, splitting my flights roughly 50/50 with LTN-EDI-LTN on Easyjet (the other London airports are all inconvenient for me).
b) I regard it as akin to a "bus service" or train commute, so lounges, a free coffee etc. are nice but not drivers of my flight choices (cost/schedule is).
c) The weekday morning departures from LTN-EDI (and v.v.) have a very high proportion of EZY pax who are business travellers (perhaps 90%). The leisure travellers tend to be on the evening flights.
d) Over 10+ years, I have only used BA on rare occasions, for the simple reason that their fares are much higher (I currently budget an average price of £110 return (incl. taxes) for a ticket on LON-EDI-LON - very rarely is BA anywhere close to to this) [I always travel with only hand baggage, I am usually able to confirm my schedule and book about 10 days-2 weeks before travel]
e) Consequently, in the BA-EZY duopoly, EZY is currently getting the vast bulk of my / my company's business.
f) I would welcome EI on the route as I think they will offer reasonable pricing to me from LHR.
g) I suspect from past behaviour (but obviously I don't know for certain) that VS pricing will be similar to BA's and, therefore, won't be attractive to me.
h) OXF is the wild card for me, if Minoan (or Flybe) offer reasonably priced service from there then I may go to OXF for some of my flights.
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by738
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:05 pm

IMO If either EI or VS get this route it will last for a few years at most- the airline scene may be a lot different in a few years going by the recent significant changes.
 
anstar
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:25 pm

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 16):
UA and/or EY) onto the EDI-LHR service?

I don't think the person who gets the remedy slots would be allowed to codeshare with BA... kind of defeats the purpose of giving the remedy slots.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:25 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 10):
This route is very business heavy and EI's LCC service may put a lot of business passengers off

Not going to happen. I regularly book our executives travel, and they will go with whatever airline gets them there that maximises their time on the ground. They fly Ryanair often to Stansted (as we have offices near there), Ryanair or Aer Lingus to Birmingham, Lufthansa to Poznan, BA to Oslo, Aer Lingus to Heathrow, FlyBE or BMI regional to Aberdeen - they're not wedded to an alliance or a type of service or anything that the airlines marketing teams would want you to believe.

EI offer a very competitive product, and I daresay they would have codeshares organised with whoever wants them on the route. They'd do very well I should think.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
skipness1E
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:58 pm

It's the LGW base all over again!
EZY on the loco side covering LGW/STN/LTN, WX to LCY and a BA sandwich over LGW/LHR/LCY. Given Aer Lingus will be point to point and BA will defend home turf, I suspect EI will blink first.
 
fcogafa
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:15 pm

Is this idea any dafter that Virgin operating the route? At least EIN have considerable 'short haul' experience.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:04 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 27):
Is this idea any dafter that Virgin operating the route?

Virgin are a well known UK based airline with a large presence on the railway network under Virgin Trains. It's going to have much more market credibility than EI. Indeed VS would be feeding their own long haul alongwith other partners.
Will EI or are they aiming for the point to point market?
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 28):
Virgin are a well known UK based airline with a large presence on the railway network under Virgin Trains. It's going to have much more market credibility than EI. Indeed VS would be feeding their own long haul alongwith other partners.
Will EI or are they aiming for the point to point market?

EI have many interline and codesharing deals and are adding more at a rapid rate since BA came back on DUBLHR.

The whole stategy with EDI is based around making themselves relevant as a UK and Ireland carrier ex LHR, effectivley replacing BMI's role.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 29):
EI have many interline and codesharing deals and are adding more at a rapid rate since BA came back on DUBLHR.
The whole stategy with EDI is based around making themselves relevant as a UK and Ireland carrier ex LHR, effectivley replacing BMI's role.

Oddly enough it was too much reliance on interlining and codeshare that killed BD's LHR-GLA.

Hang on, six daily seems mentally ambitous as first. Are we sure it's not thrice daily?

[Edited 2012-11-11 15:58:01]
 
boysteve
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:03 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 30):
Oddly enough it was too much reliance on interlining and codeshare that killed BD's LHR-GLA.

Hang on, six daily seems mentally ambitous as first. Are we sure it's not thrice daily?

If the competition authorities have said 6 slot pairs have to be made available to the competioiton then thet get allocated or they don't. You take 6 (and use them for ABZ & EDI) or you take take none at all.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 30):

Indeed, that's a fair point about LHRGLA (BD). I guess its finding the optimum mix between OD and Xfer pax.

Of course it may simply be enough to offer interline with other carriers and not go too crazy with codeshares.
 
anstar
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:19 am

Looks like EI have been advised they are the second choice

http://www.independent.ie/business/i...-plans-for-uk-service-3296278.html

Quote:
Plans by Aer Lingus to launch what would have been its first ever domestic British service dimmed yesterday after a rival was placed in pole position to secure the slots the Irish airline needed.

Aer Lingus had applied for additional take-off and landing slots at Heathrow and hoped to launch a service to Edinburgh next year.

Those Heathrow slots had been controlled by Bmi and were surrendered by IAG-owned British Airways after it bought that carrier earlier this year. It had to yield the slots to secure European Commission approval for the Bmi acquisition.

But the European Commission has ranked Aer Lingus second in a process that determines which carrier should get the valuable Heathrow slots.
 
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GCT64
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:44 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 33):
Looks like EI have been advised they are the second choice

The article doesn't confirm it, but I imagine we all think VS are therefore in first place. Were there any other contenders?
Personally I think I would prefer EI to VS, but I can see why the EU might rank VS higher.
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anstar
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:01 am

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 34):
The article doesn't confirm it,

True but it does mention it come from an EI spokesperson,

Quote:

"Aer Lingus has been informed that it has been ranked second in its application for slots to be released by IAG to operate the London Heathrow-Edinburgh route," an Aer Lingus spokesman said last night.

I believe the decision is due shortly - first week in DEC or something.
 
VFRonTop
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:29 pm

Im surprised people are trying to compare this situation to EI's endeavour at Gatwick. Surely we can all agree that LHR and LGW are two completely different animals. EI is well established in LHR being the 3rd largest holder of slots. EI has a lot to gain from securing this EDI slots, they may eventually end up using them elsewhere when the exclusive conditions end but thats not really the point. This is an easy win for EI.

LHR - EDI is a heavy business route with a very large O&D demand as well as great connecting opportunities. EI have the relevant agreements and decent pricing strategy to ensure this route works.

It is also worth noting that EI already has a good presence at EDI with daily flights to Dublin, Cork and Shannon as well as providing connections to JFK and BOS. My point is that EDI customers know EI, they know their product and their pricing.

I don't know if EI are looking to become a long term UK domestic carrier, I do know that if I was a carrier looking to secure 6 Heathrow slots, LHR-EDI is the route I'd want to fly.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 21):
EI do carry business passengers, do have an FFP (even though its crap) and do have business lounges and flexible tickets.

Agreed. EI need to pull their finder out and make Gold Circle work. It's a steaming pile of worthlessness at the moment and needs to be overhauled if they want to capture more then just the price conscious business traveller.
 
babybus
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:37 pm

EI have a terrible habit of relying on word of mouth for marketing new routes or the odd poster at the airport itself.

I can't imagine this new venture will last long. It doesn't immediately pop into your head to look for an Irish flag carrier on a UK domestic route.

Maybe they would be better off if they invented a new UK looking airline as an EI off-shoot or promise hot meals on every flight.

EI isn't my first choice on UK-Eire routes never mind UK internal routes.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:44 pm

The LGW analogy stands, EI do well at LGW in the same way they do well at LHR, on their home turf to Ireland. EDI will be defended as it is a BA core market, VS could do well taking some STAR feed alongwith P2P as they are a home carrier and the brand is recognised domestically already via sister company Virgin trains.
EI are unknowns who are not bringing anything new to the route. We shall see.
 
Gingersnap
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RE: Aer Lingus Plans Six Daily Heathrow-Edinburgh

Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:03 pm

I know they're not part of OneWorld any more, but EI still codeshare with BA and this would be all be part of a ruse to keep VS out of the domestic market on the part of BA.

I say give VS the slots.
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